(Is It) The End of the World As We Know It?
or Let's Feel Fine!
by B.J. Huchtemann
Lots of music going on this weekend. All Young Girls Are Machine Guns has a CD release party on Friday night at The Waiting Room. Honey & Darling and The Betties also play. It's a celebration of rock'n'roots with a feminine touch.
Saturday night, well if the world is gonna end I wanna be among friends and good music. Kris Lager Band, Funk Trek & Mitch Gettman play The Waiting Room on May 21.
Meanwhile Kyle Harvey hosts one of his inimitable theme music parties at the Barley Street. The Facebook page for the event contains the following description: "Kyle Harvey's End of the World Show (May 21st is Judgement Day) & CD Release Spectacle with The Lepers and Zombie vs. Shark, $5 or free if you dress up as a zombie, religious cult member, religious figure (nun, priest, etc)... use your imagination... it is the apocolypse!" Kyle's winter "Merry Christmas from Outer Space" EP Release was a blast, with lots of creative costumes and a fun vibe. If the world's gonna end, Benson seems like the best in-town place to be!
Saturday night there's also the Dundee Spring Fling after 6:30 p.m. with live music.
The Omaha Beer Fest is going on down at the Lewis & Clark Landing on the Riverfront today and tomorrow. Full admission is $35 at the gate with "unlimited two-ounce tastings." There's also the "Designated Driver" tickets (meaning you won't get to drink the beers) that are only $10 at the gate. Music includes Funk Trek at 4 p.m. and Chris Saub & The Feel Good Groove Junkies(6-8 p.m.) tonight (Friday, May 20). Sons of 76 (2-3:45 p.m.) and Lucas Kellison and the Assembled Soul (4-6 p.m.) take the stage on Saturday afternoon, May 21. See omahabeerfest.com
On Sunday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m., The Brad Cordle Band will be playing at The Anchor Inn. It's supposed to be back to summer-like 90 degree temps, so head out to the Anchor Inn for those tasty watermelon drinks and get your groove on.
Matt Cox Band and Charlie (Mezcal Brothers) Johnson's new Fuse Recordings studio were featured in a nice write-up by Lincoln Journal Star music journalist L. Kent Wolgamott. It's nice to see Matt getting some recognition from another music writer in the market. I've been saying for a couple years that Matt is one of the most talented singer-songwriter-band leaders in town. Matt and his band have been working on their next CD at the new Fuse Recordings with Charlie. Check out Wolgamott's piece here:
Award-winning Canadian roots artist Suzie Vinnick has a last-minute show booked for The Side Door Lounge on Wednesday, May 25, 8 p.m. Vinnick is “a perennial nominee” and six-time winner of the Canadian Maple Blues awards. She is touring behind her latest and fourth solo effort Me ‘n’ Mabel and has won a Juno award nomination for her previous folk-blues work. There is no admission charge for the show but donations are encouraged to help Vinnick with her road travel expenses. Vinnick has appeared in Omaha previously with Les Grandes Dames duBlues featuring Dawn Tyler Watson. See SuzieVinnick.com.
The first annual Nebraska Blues Challenge concluded on Sunday, May 15, at The 21st Saloon. The Lil’ Slim Blues Band received the most points from the judges in all categories. They will be representing the Blues Society of Omaha in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2012. The Brad Cordle Band finished a close second in the scoring. Elwin James & the Way Outs took third place. Congrats to the Blues Society of Omaha folks who took on the first-ever Nebraska effort to send a band to the prestige-building International Blues Challenge in Memphis. For a first-time series of events, things went pretty smoothly over all and the fan support for the shows was tremendous!
The two big shows from last weekend delivered big time! The Curtis Salgado band tore it up at the Bourbon Theatre on Saturday night. Salgado is about the baddest soul-blues cat out there and he treated the audience to a mix of old and new material. Salgado has a new CD planned for release later this summer. Salgado got Brad Cordle, Dave Steen and Johnny Gomez Jr. from Cordle's band up to jam at the end. The Salgado and Cordle band members steamed through some funky James Brown. Whew. A fine night of music.
Likewise, the Lucinda Williams show on Monday night at the Slowdown delivered a solid two hours and five minutes worth of music from Lucinda and her band. Amazing musicians all, the show was radiant from first note to last. I bought the "display" copy of the guitar player, Blake Mills', solo CD. I will let you know what it sounds like. This show was a partnership between Dean & Gary's Sunday Roadhouse concert series and One Percent Productions.
And speaking of CDs, longtime favorite Hadden Sayers has released a new CD, Hard Dollar, and is putting a big push behind it. It's great stuff from start to finish. The sounds range from rockin' blues to some Texas roadhouse sounds that recall Texas roots bands like the vintage Fabulous Thunderbirds. It's all Sayers' original material. He's a fine songwriter and his soulful vocals and songs are given equal weight with his serious guitar chops. Sayers has been working as Ruthie Foster's guitarist for the last few years and Foster appears as a guest on the duet "Back to the Blues." This song should be among the contenders for the Blues Music Award for Song of the Year next year, if there's any justice at all. Check out the live-from-SXSW-showcase version of the tune here at haddensayers.com along with another new video and a live stream of several tracks from the CD. I hope we see Sayers back in town soon for a proper CD release show.
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copyright B.J. Huchtemann, 2011
Lucinda Williams and her stellar band at Slowdown, Monday, May 16.